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Monday, October 27, 2014

A look at the former Williams Grove Park in 2014

I was just becoming of driving age when Williams Grove was shutting down. One of my biggest regrets as an amusement park explorer is having missed out on Williams Grove Park. According to PennDot signage, you would not have any idea that the park even closed. Maybe there is hope?
It was tough to see with the lighting that day, but in the distance you can see one of the street lamps that was once used in the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. This is a priceless piece of Americana and it was actually lit up, almost as if this park is frozen in time. We did not get a decent look into the park since it is posted private property, but from what we could see, it appears that some care is put into the property. 
The Williams Grove Cyclone is actually looking pretty good. Granted I did not get a full look at the coaster, it looks like it is holding up pretty decently after sitting dormant for nearly a decade. Maybe the owner is holding onto it for opening at a later date? Unlikely, but it pains me to see a wooden roller coaster sitting like this, especially one that dates back to 1933. It seems to be facing a similar fate to these other standing but not operating coasters that closed in the mid 2000s, the Joyland Nightmare and the Geauga Lake Big Dipper.
It appears as if the park's miniature railway was closed before the park itself closed, judging by the vegetation growing out of it. I could be wrong though.
The coaster eerily looks like a train could fly by at any minute.
This is the last remaining coaster built by Philadelphia Toboggan Company's Oscar Bitler. The roller coaster lover in me would love to see this coaster come back to life, but reality says that it is pretty unlikely. The adjacent Williams Grove Raceway is still operational. The park really looks as if it were closed yesterday, judging by the bridge entrance way, the old street lamps still on, and the coaster standing in what looks like it could be running shape with a little bit of elbow grease. 



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